UP eliminates NU in last semis seat race
Mark Escarlote on Jun 25, 2016 06:41 PM
University of the Philippines' Kathy Bersola blocks Risa Sato of National University.
University of the Philippines survived to fight another day as the Lady Maroons ended National University’s semifinals bid while strengthening their own in a 25-22, 25-27, 25-13, 25-22, win Saturday in their crucial 13th V-League Open Conference match at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Incoming sophomore Diana Carlos powered the Lady Maroons with 22 points as the Diliman-based squad evened their record to 3-3 for a tie with the Laoag Power Smashers.
UP and Laoag will faceoff on Monday in the last eliminations playdate in a match that will determine which team will advance in the best-of-three semifinals at the no. 4 seat to take on the top seed.
“Kapit lang ng kapit eh no? Laro lang ng laro hangga’t may chance sige lang ng sige. Swerte siguro na nakalusot kami ngayon,” said UP coach Jerry Yee, whose troop scored its first back-to-back victories of the conference after a 0-2 start.
Carlos smashed in 14 attack points out of UP’s total of 53. She was also a sentinel in front of the net with six kill points and three service aces while providing good floor coverage with 18 digs for the Lady Maroons.
UAAP Season 78 Rookie of the Year Isa Molde registered 16 points while skipper Kathy Bersola and Justine Dorog added 14 markers each for the young UP side.
While Yee credited his team's determination and effort, he acknowledged that the struggles of NU during the game helped them win.
“I don’t know if it’s us pero baka kulang pa sila (NU) ng pag-gel. Could be dahil bago pa ang setter nila and rotation nila,” he said. “Same din with us pero lamang ng konti siguro yung taon natin with regards na magsama at maglar together. Yun lang naman.”
The Lady Bulldogs threatened to bring the game into a deciding set as NU kept a close distance midway in the fourth set, 16-13. UP widened the gap, 23-19. NU saved three match points and closed in at 22-24 on an attack by Filipino-Japanese Risa Sato before Aiko Urdas hits a left corner attack out of the sideline to yield the battle.
Jaja Santiago ahs 14 kills in her total of 19 points while Sato and Jorelle Singh, who had struggled at the service line, finished with 12 apiece for the 3-4 Lady Bulldogs.
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